A complaint regarding forgery, impersonation and identity fraud of an office bearer at the Prime Minister’s Office was registered with Delhi Police on Friday after a designer named Kunal Merchant alleged that he was contacted by the PMO for designing a table to be used by PM Modi and subsequent PMs to come.
The matter came to light after Mr Merchant, a designer and manufacturer of furniture items, took to his Instagram account to grandstand about how he rejected an offer made to him, allegedly by the PMO office, to build a table for the exclusive use of the Prime Minister. Merchant cited the ‘fascism’, alleged ‘atrocities against Muslims’, and ‘fundamental opposition to policies and ideology of PM Modi and the Centre’ as the reason for his refusal to build a table for the PMO.
Mr Merchant, who claimed to have rejected the offer on the grounds of ideological differences with PM Modi, shared screenshots of his email response to the account purporting to be from the PMO on his Instagram stories. As his stories went viral, a complaint of identity fraud was filed with the Delhi Police regarding the impersonation of an office bearer at the Prime Minister’s office.
Kunal Merchant takes a leaf out of the leftist playbook, cites ‘fascism’, ‘hatred’, ‘marginalisation of Muslims’ to reject an alleged PMO offer
According to the screenshots shared by Kunal Merchant on his Instagram Stories, he was approached by a Vivek Kumar, who identified himself as the Private Secretary to Prime Minister. In his email, Kumar stated that Mr Merchant was identified by PM Modi to design and build a permanent installation/executive table for the exclusive use of the Prime Minister. The desk will be placed in the PMO and used by subsequent Prime Minister to come, the email said. A number was shared in the email and Mr Merchant was asked to get in touch at the earliest to discuss plans and design work.
Kunal shot back a response to this email, passing up the offer of building a desk for the Prime Minister. He then took to his Instagram account to share the screenshots of his email response, wherein he argued why he turned down the offer to build a desk for the Prime Minister. Kunal’s response, which was inordinately long and detailed, and filled to brim with moralising platitudes, touched upon various aspects that seemed to have influenced his decision of declining the opportunity to be associated with the PMO.
Merchant, a self-declared Gandhian, said his decision to not build a desk for the PMO was rooted in his fundamental opposition to the politics and policies of the current Prime Minister and the ruling party, and in such a scenario, he argued, it would be “morally and ethically” unfeasible on his part to be in a business relationship with the government. His response, replete with sententious bromides and elaborately long justifications for rejecting the offer, was shared by him on Instagram stories.
In his response, Merchant peddled the hoary leftist narrative that the central government is prejudicial against the Muslims and that the minorities live under a constant threat of persecution under the BJP Government. Merchant also loosely threw the labels of fascism and Nazism in his email response, in order to justify his decision to turn down the offer to build a table for the PMO.
“While 20% of my fellow citizens live below the poverty line and while 22% of my fellow citizens who are Muslims live in marginalised conditions created by your government and its policies, I find it morally and unethically feasible to design and create a desk for the head of our government on which laws and policies will be signed to further this agenda of segregation and deprivation of minorities,” said Kunal’s email to Modi’s private secretary.
He further blathered on, “history treats the supporters, suppliers and propagators of Nazis as Nazis themselves. ”I do not want to have anything to do with, nor contribute to this regime lest history associates me with your racism, fascism, reductive and binary thinking as well as your thuggery. As a designer, I seek to inspire and uplift the quality of life of the people around me.”
Many of his followers who supported his move congratulated him for rejecting the alleged PMO offer to build a desk for the PM and shared the story on their respective accounts, some of which were shared by Merchant on Instagram stories, apparently in a bid to seek grandstanding and applause from the anti-Modi brigade.
Kunal Merchant may well have virtue signalled to an imposter, Delhi Police launches investigation
However, while Mr Merchant claims that he had rejected an offer that he received from the Prime Minister’s Office on the grounds of his ideological difference with the ruling party, he may well have virtue-signalled to an imposter, given that the Delhi Police have received a complaint about the impersonation of an office bearer at the PMO and have launched an investigation on the same.
We have received a complaint regarding forgery, impersonation and identity fraud of an office bearer at the Prime Minister’s Office. Matter is under investigation.@PMOIndia @HMOIndia pic.twitter.com/1r1mhPCvoX— CP Delhi #DilKiPolice (@CPDelhi) April 15, 2022
The Commissioner of Police, Delhi Police, took to Twitter to inform about the complaint filed with the police. The CP also shared screenshots of email correspondence between Mr Merchant and an impersonator pretending to be working at the PMO, adding that an investigation is underway.